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Fri, 27 Sept

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Londonderry

The Trial of James Craig before the Court of history

Anthony Russell’s imaginative political and historical fantasy examines the role played by the Orange Order in the social and political development of Ulster over the last 300 years. Was it guilty of treason?

The Trial of James Craig before the Court of history
The Trial of James Craig before the Court of history

Time & Location

27 Sept 2024, 20:00 – 22:00

Londonderry, 2-4 Kennedy St, Londonderry BT48 6RF, UK

About The Event

Anthony Russell’s imaginative political and historical fantasy examines the role played by the Orange Order in the social and political development of Ulster over the last 300 years. Was it guilty of treason?

In the Court of History James Craig, Lord Craigavon, ‘a man hewn from the rocks of Ulster’ is called from the grave to represent the Orange Order. Sir Edward Carson, the leader of Irish unionism, defends Craig. The prosecutor is John Mitchel, an unrepentant physical force Irish republican, American Confederate, and supporter of slavery.

Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a leader of the 1848 Rebellion, who was assassinated because he bitterly opposed the Fenian invasions of Canada is called as a witness. McGee died a colonial loyalist and a founding Father of the Canadian Confederation. 80,000 attended his funeral in Montreal.

Mrs Elisabeth Crozier, a Presbyterian farmer’s wife, ‘relives’ the horror of her death in the Altnaveigh Massacre; carried out by members of the IRA’s Fourth Northern Division.

The above characters are aware of what has happened in Ulster since they entered the grave and comment accordingly. As in Russell’s earlier play, the Trial of P H Pearse before the Court of History, the audience is the jury and as such it is asked to leave its prejudice at the door, consider the arguments as presented and reach a verdict – guilty or not guilty.

The play has been read for historical accuracy by Dr James Quinn of the Royal Irish Academy. It has been performed, by the Newpoint Players, in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and in venues across Ireland, including the Falls and Shankill Roads. As with the Trial of P H Pearse before the Court of History the verdicts have been interesting - and not always predictable.

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